From the May 2006 issue of Entrepreneur

Your sales reps may run up against price objections-and it's especially difficult to compete against larger companies selling similar products or services at a discount. For advice on winning the price wars, we asked John Costigan, founder of John Costigan Companies, a sales consulting firm in Cary, North Carolina, for his insights:

  • Build the pain. It's the salesperson's job to identify a prospect's "pain" and offer solutions. In other words, reps need to get prospects emotional about their business problems. When a rep can offer a real solution, price issues melt away. Says Costigan, "Price is everything when selling logically, and it's nothing when selling emotionally."
  • Keep the leverage. Reps shouldn't make concessions without a commitment. If the customer wants a lower price, have your rep ask, "If I can, what happens next?" If the prospect has no answer, the rep probably wouldn't have landed the deal anyway. If the prospect does answer, the rep should find out exactly what needs to happen to move forward.
  • Never match price. Costigan believes buyers make decisions for three reasons: the salesperson, the company and the product-in that order. If your company offers a better service and product, reps shouldn't need to match price.